Elkton man gets six years for abusing challenged teen
— An Elkton man who had sex with a mentally challenged teen — taking advantage of her cognitive deficiency — received a six-year prison term Wednesday.
Cecil County Circuit Court Administrative Judge Keith A. Baynes imposed a 10-year sentence on the defendant, Paul Edward Tatro Jr., 47, of the 200 block of Hollingsworth Manor, and then suspended four years of it.
On June 6, as part of a plea deal, Tatro had pleaded guilty to physical abuse of a vulnerable adult. In exchange for Tatro’s guilty plea, prosecutors dropped related charges of second-degree rape and third- degree sex offense.
The judge ordered Tatro to serve five years of supervised probation after completing his six-year term, which he will serve in a Maryland Department of Corrections prison.
Also part of the sentence, Baynes ordered Tatro to register as a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life, allowing police and the public to keep tabs on him. In addition, the judge ordered Tatro to submit a DNA sample to authorities. Tatro also must submit to polygraph tests when ordered, prosecutors reported.
The incident occurred on Feb. 27, 2015. After indicating that he was taking the 19-year-old victim to get ice cream, Tatro drove her instead to an isolated spot in Elkton and had sex with her in the backseat of the vehicle, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Burnell, who noted that the mentally challenged teen lost her virginity to Tatro during the incident.
Earlier that day, Tatro was inside an Elkton residence when he overheard the teen tell a woman there that she wanted to have a baby, Burnell said.
The mentally challenged teen was holding a doll when she expressed her desire to be a mother, prompting the woman to explain that caring for a real baby is a much bigger responsibility than caring for a doll baby, Burnell added.
Later that day, Tatro drove the teen to the isolated spot in Elkton — under the ruse of getting ice cream — and had sex with her, prosecutors reported.
The girl later told someone in her household what Tatro had done to her and, in turn, that person contacted authorities, prompting an investigation by Det. Lindsey Ziegenfuss of the Elkton Police Department, prosecutors said.
During a police interview, prosecutors added, Tatro confessed.
A Cecil County grand jury handed up a three-count indictment against Tatro in April 2015 and, after numerous delays and postponements, Tatro pleaded guilty in June and was sentenced on Wednesday.